P.O. box services not allowed as home address in U.S

Hi there shining nomads!

I’m new here and probably don’t qualify as a bonafide nomad. I simply want to live in India while remaining a US.citizen.

One of my biggest challenges in doing that is being forced to feign that I have a U.S. residence. Using P.O. box services is no longer allowed on official documents. I am loathe to depend on friends or family for this. At times it is a burden to them. Also I have to divulge all my private and financial matters to them.

Surely some of you must have encountered this significant obstacle. Has anyone found a solution?

There are a few options but none are perfect. You can find a mail forwarding service or virtual mail service but those mostly rely on commercial addresses or “box #” type addresses, so it might not be accepted by some government agencies. You can find these searching online.

You could also buy an apartment somewhere that is your address, and then you would need to get a mail service to handle your mail.

I have considered starting a business opportunity out of this. I would buy a building and convert the units into 12 meter units (3 x 4 meters) just enough for a fold out bed and a dresser. You can buy or rent the units for a residence. The building would be managed with mail sorting and imaging abilities. Your mail would be scanned and stored in the cloud for you, and then the physical mail stored safely in your unit. If you want particular piece of mail forwarded to you this can be done.

Just my rough guess that you could buy a unit for $20,000 or less and have a permanent address, or rent it for about $150 per month, plus any management fees based on mail volume. Really I dont know if there would be much interest in something like this.

The challenge is that you would want this somewhere in a low tax jurisdiction. In other words if you are claiming this as your residence, you probably don’t want it in New York City which has some of the highest taxes in the US (and also the real estate prices would be 4x).

I think the reason po boxes are not allowed is to clamp down on terrorism and fraud (people hiding their identity). Since terrorism and fraud are probably here to stay for our lifetimes at least, the demand for what you propose should continue. In other words I don’t think the gov’t will provide us with a solution.

It’s an interesting idea. I wonder what laws might interfere, say if your operation was investigated. I’m guessing the units would have to be habitable. There could be one bathroom and shower that is shared, which could actually be used by your staff.

$150/month is $18,000 after 10 years. You could sell them for $25,000 or rent them by the month or year. Just as people take roommates to split the rent, maybe 6 people could squeeze into those units(?). That would be 1/6th of $18,000, or $3,000 for 10 years. This I would consider.

But I wonder if there is a law to block this. I know of many cases where 10-15 people live in one unit, and I’ve never heard there was a problem with it legally. At least it wasn’t enforced.

If you found a low tax area with zoning that permits a business and residences on the same or adjacent lots, you could use your staff to run a copy & mail center too.

Maybe once you set this up it could run itself.

Just brainstorming :thinking::grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Hey! I just re-read your suggestions and got an idea!

Lots of people are poor or unemployed. They could let several people use their address for a fee, and handle their mail for them!

As for legality, that would be for the building owner to figure out.

Regarding having poor or unemployed people be responsible for your correspondence, how could that possibly go wrong… :grimacing: :grimacing:

Have you looked into South Dakota residency?That’s what a lot of full time RV’ers do. I’m sure there are a lot of mail forwarding services that are not PO Box. I think physical requirement is also very low — something like 1 night per 5 year.

physical requirement is also very low — something like 1 night per 5 year.

Physical requirement? What’s that? I would have to go there in person?

What a fabulous guy you are, planting trees and helping people.

Yes, you have to show proof of your stay in SD — like a receipt from a hotel with your name on it. I googled “South Dakota residency” and found a bunch of resources. (I didn’t research it too much so I don’t want to just post a link to some site here.)